Who are we?
We are a club of underwater hockey with the official name Serrasalmus UWH Club České Budějovice and we are registered under the
organization of Czech scuba divers. Most of the members of our club are students and teachers from the University of South Bohemia,
particularly from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Agriculture.
How did it start?
The primary idea for establishing an UWH club in the Czech Republic came from the members of the club of sport divers from the University
of South Bohemia in 1997. We returned from an international competition with the UWH rules, made our own sticks and a puck, and started
playing just to make the trainings more interesting. Later, we got so much into it, that we organized our own goals and other necessary
equipment and started to train regularly. First, we had to share the pool with UW rugby players but got our own space later. Nowadays, our
team has about twenty members who are involved mainly in UWH.
The biggest breakthrough in our development was the year 2003 when we participated in a tournament in Kranj, Slovenia. We played with
large plastic sticks which we held in a wrong direction (“crook” forward) and we got beaten up really bad! Luckily, we met the players from
Hungary who were “fascinated” by our equipment and even took pictures of it. Then they invited us to Pecs, Hungary, for an intensive
weekend training with them and a team from Budapest. They explained how to make firm gloves, what the stick should look like and how to
hold it and other, for us completely new stuff. We have been training intensively since then and we do our best to improve our skills. With a
smile we sometimes remember our first steps and our “pre-historic” way of playing, or rather “pushing”.
Another breakthrough in our history was meeting Antoine Mourad, the chair of UWH CMAS who has been distantly coaching our team since
2006. In 2007, he started coaching the women’s team and preparing them for European Championship in Istanbul, 2008.
We have nowadays 23 registered members – 12 women, 11 men – ranging from 18 to 60.
This shows that this sport is neither age- nor gender- dependent, and it is open to anybody interested.
For a meaningful development of any kind of sport it is very important to have a chance to compete with others. There is no other regularly
training UWH team in the Czech Republic. Therefore, our focus is now on establishing new teams, so we can organize a national league
with regular tournaments. For now, we have to take part in international competitions, which is time and money consuming.
All starts are difficult and establishing of some new teams will also be challenging. However, the beginning of recently very popular ice-
hockey was not easy either. Let‘s hope for a better future of underwater hockey!